I would say that his men were not suited to fighting in the terrains south of the river (central plain).
Furthermore, they are fighting in Cao Cao's own land, food supply and logistic would be much easier for him.
If Yuan Shao din move south, Cao Cao would never dared march north to invade them.
Dong Zhou wrote:There is only so much Yuan Shao can put in the field at any one time, the maximum I believe there was at the time was Cao Cao's 250,000 at Chi Bi. Yuan Tan was with Yuan Shao at Guan Du so presumably the army Tan had used was part of the main army but whatever numbers Shao had, it doesn't seem to have much more then Cao Cao's
Dong Zhou wrote:The SGZ to be fair also says Yuan Shao greatly outnumbered Cao Cao only to contradict itself by the way it describes the battle.
the hidden dragon wrote:To be more logical, the ZHOUs or the territories that cao cao had, Chang An, Luo Yang, Chen Liu, Pu Yang, Xu Chang and Wan Cheng areas ..and even Xu Zhou area might be more populated as compared to the more northern area where Yuan Shao's based (correct me if i am wrong). And resources should be more in abundance. so realistically speaking, maybe this should also means easier and faster for Cao Cao to recruite and gathers an army. Therefore, u could be right that Cao cao army indeed could be more than Yuan.
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